WASHINGTON - April 28 - With gas prices continuing to be sky-high, and the big oil companies reaping historic profits, support has grown in the House of Representatives for legislation, authored by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), to place an excessive profits tax on the big oil companies. Currently, 50 Members of Congress are co-sponsors of HR 2070, The Gas Price Spike Act.
"Consumers are being gouged at the pump, and more and more Members of Congress are realizing an excess profits tax is the best, fastest, and most prudent intervention to quickly drop the price of gasoline and restore the integrity of the market," stated Congressman Kucinich.
HR 2070 will:
- Institute an excessive profit tax on gasoline and diesel. Such a tax is to be imposed on all industry profits that are above a reasonable profit level. This proposal would not increase the cost of gasoline because this proposal does not tax the price of gasoline. It only taxes excessive profits of refineries and distributors. Any attempt to increase prices to recover the lost revenue in taxes is simply taxed at 100% making the price increase worthless.
- Transfer the revenue from the excessive profits tax to Americans who would buy ultra efficient cars, made in America, with a tax credit. These will be made directly available to the purchaser of a car that traveled over 65 miles on a single gallon of gas. Today average cars get less than 30 miles per gallon.
- Establishes a broad based, far reaching program to promote mass rail transit inter- and intra- city. The bill makes funding available to regional transit authorities to offset significantly reduced mass transit fares during times of gas price spikes.
Since 2001, the five largest oil refining companies operating in America have recorded over $280 billion in profits. In the first three months of 2006 alone, Exxon Mobil made over $8 billion dollars in profits and Chevron made over $4 billion in profits. All the while consumers are paying the price at the pump.
"It is far past time that Congress stands up for the consumer and not the big oil companies," continued Kucinich. "Clearly, the market is flawed and Congress must intervene to defend consumers."